Asian stroll at the Georges-Labit museum in Toulouse

Toulouse
Asian stroll at the G ...

Founded in 1893 by Georges LABIT , a frequent traveler from a family of Toulouse merchants , this eponymous museum houses one of the most beautiful French collections of oriental art . There are works from Japan , China , Southeast Asia , India , Tibet , or Nepal , but also beautiful pieces of Egyptian antiquity . And we must admit that the history of its creator is just as fascinating as its collection .

Treasures from Asia in an Oriental-style setting

Imagined by the Toulouse architect Jules CALBAIRAC at the request of its founder, the building of the Georges-Labit museum is a real architectural gem. A stone's throw from the Canal du Midi , it is like a surprising and luxurious villa with Moorish inspiration , nestled in the heart of a verdant botanical garden , adorned with Asian and Mediterranean plants . Change of scenery guaranteed!

Botanical Garden Georges Labit museum

Botanical garden of the Georges-Labit museum


Inside, a magnificent collection of statues , sculptures , masks and ornamental objects from Asian cultures is highlighted by very clear explanatory panels.

On the first floor, we discover the temporary exhibition which changes approximately every six months, while on the ground floor, we can admire the permanent collections of the museum . The centerpiece of the establishment is undoubtedly the mummy of a young 35-year-old woman whose researchers are still passionately disputing the exact time.


Georges Labit Museum

Temporary exhibition

Georges Labit Museum

Caption: The star of the museum: the mummy!

Georges Labit Museum

Mummy sarcophagus

If you come to the museum with your family , remember to ask for playful tour books for the young public at the ticket office , just to make the route captivating for young and old !

But you know what? The most captivating thing about this museum is the story of its creator…

Georges Labit Museum Ticket office of the Georges-Labit museum

 

The mysterious death of George Labit

Son of the wealthy and influential Toulouse merchant Antoine Labit , Georges has had conflicting relationships with his father from a young age. The cause ? The father figure showed extreme authority and quickly placed his offspring under financial supervision after the death of his mother, thus depriving Georges of all economic independence for the rest of his life.

Georges Labit Museum

Georges Labit


Despite a difficult communication, the Labits reach an agreement: Georges will travel the world in search of exotic products that the father will be responsible for selling in Toulouse . This is how he discovered Europe , Lapland , North Africa , China , and Japan . His fascination for countries and distant cultures pushed him to become an ethnologist . It was in 1893, thanks to funding from his father, that Georges inaugurated a museum which brought together the numerous objects brought back from his travels .

Georges Labit Museum

Head of the Boddhisattva Lokeshvara

Georges Labit Museum

Amida Buddha

Georges Labit Museum

Egyptian couple with child


At that time, he frequents a young woman, Angèle Sicard , while he is promised to another. A few days before his wedding, Georges Labit died at the age of 37 , of a lightning and unexplained death , after several days of agony. Even stranger is the fact that his father will never demand an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of his son, and will even later delete certain archival material from his file.
Even today, rumors abound about his death: revenge of the lonely lover , family quarrel ... Georges will take his secret with him, but fortunately, he will leave his collection bequeathed to the city in 1921.

Georges Labit Museum

Portrait of Georges Labit

Practical information

Contact:

Georges-Labit Museum
17, rue du Japon
31400 Toulouse
05 31 22 99 80 - 05 31 22 99 81

How to get there :

- by Bus Line L7 - Demouilles stop or Line 27 - Departmental Archives stop
- by bike by the Canal du Midi, very pleasant in summer

Opening time:

Open every day except Tuesday and holidays:
- from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from June to September
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from October to May

Prices and other info:

  • Full price: € 5 (€ 3 for Toulouse Culture card holders)
  • Free for students, under 18s, and for everyone every first Sunday of the month!
  • Find all the events of the museum here .

Georges Labit Museum

Entrance to the Georges-Labit Museum rue du Japon

 

Did you like our article? Find others on the Facebook page of the Toulouse Pyrénées Guide . You can also find us on Instagram @guidetoulousepyrerees

Article written by Léa Dürr for the Toulouse Pyrénées Guide

 


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